Chennai Port to strengthen infra to handle car exports

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jul 28, 2016

Chennai: Chennai Port will strengthen its infrastructure to handle cars for coastal movement and exports, according to Cyril C George, Chairman of the Chennai Port Trust.

Addressing media persons after handing over the wharfage charge refund of Rs.19.69 crore for 2015-16 to YK Koo, Managing Director, Hyundai Motors India, he said Hyundai Motors has consistently been the largest exporter of cars from India. The car manufacturer has charted out expansion plans which will further strengthen the relationship with the Chennai Port as a channel for its growing exports.

The Korean car manufacturer and the Chennai Port have a long-term agreement that provides for the annual refund of a portion of wharfage charges. Since 2006 Hyundai has exported over 2 million cars and received a total refund of Rs.165 crore, said a press release from the Port.

George said the port is also setting up a berth for handling vessels for coastal of movement cars to domestic destinations. It is modernising the port with paved storage areas to provide a clean environment. Car exports will be a growing segment and the port has adequate back up space to handle the growing volumes, he said.

Koo said Hyundai Motor India apart from being a hub for export of small cars, which is a huge segment, also exports larger cars including the Creta. In 2015 it had exported about 1.67 lakh cars and in the current year it hopes to sustain exports though the number could be slightly lower due to market conditions in some of its export destinations.

Port officials said coastal movement of cars is bound to take off as it is cost effective and more environment friendly as compared with road movement. However, some issues need to be sorted out. The first attempt earlier this year could not be sustained as the car carrier was not filled to capacity and some concession issues had not been sorted out at the destination port. Chennai Port had been fully supportive.

Hyundai officials said they were hoping for some concessions to be granted by the Centre for coastal shipping of cars.

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